There has been a revival of the shopping street in the late 20th century in Brisbane. It was revived by individual businesses in areas of gentrification with higher disposable incomes as part of the movement away from internalised shopping centres and towards specialised shops that emphasised greater luxury, leisure and lifestyle.
The revival of the shopping street occurred in recognition of the socialisation of shopping. Emphasis on seeing and being seen as part of shopping is supported by the increase in the number of restaurants and coffee shops with seating overlooking the street. These have become venues for both business and recreation as a result of an increase in leisure time, and greater workplace flexibility through the use of wireless internet.
This work studies the desirable and undesirable physical designable characteristics that contribute to a suburban shopping street’s success. These characteristics are quantified by being assess against a rating scale to gauge the overall success of the street’s design.
Suburban shopping streets create communities by becoming a meeting place where people interact and by personalising the shopping experience in local grocery shops rather than in anonymous “mega” stores. With 86% of Australians living in urban areas the revival of the shopping street has relevance for architects, urban planners, landscape architects and other designers working in urban design.
This thesis maps three suburban shopping streets in Brisbane - Park Road in Milton, James Street in New Farm, and Oxford Street in Bulimba. With a catalogue of photos and sketches compiled to establish the physical characteristics of the streets. The streets are assessed against optimum design characteristics and rated to quantify their design success. In addition the Development Control Plans have been researched from 1978 through to the current plan (2007) to understand what affect they have on the shopping streets, and weather they support the revival of the suburban shopping street.
In addition the Development Control Plans from 1978 to 2007 have been analysed to discover their effect on suburban shopping streets. The research shows that planning policy has a direct impact on the success of these shopping streets by affecting their physical characteristics. Through appropriate master planning and detailed design strategies for each suburban precinct a more successful community environment can be created.